January 26 – Today in Music History

1934 Huey ‘Piano’ Smith born in New Orleans, Louisiana. US R&B pianist, (1958 US No.9 single ‘Don’t You Just Know It’, played on Frankie Ford’s hit ‘Sea Cruise’). 
1939 Marshall Lieb – US singer who sang with the Teddy Bears. Died Mar. 15, 2002
1945 Ashley Hutchings, bass, Fairport Convention, UK folk group, (1969 UK No.21 single ‘Si Tu Dois Partir’). 
1948 Corky Laing, drummer with heavy rock group Mountain who had the 1971 album ‘Nantucket Sleighride’. Also worked with Jack Bruce. 
1949 Derek Holt born in Stafford, England. UK Bassist And Keyboard Instrumentalist with the Climax Blues Band, (1976 UK No.10 & 1977 US No.3 single ‘Couldn’t Get It Right’). 
1951 David Briggs born in Melbourne Victoria. Australian Lead Guitarist with the Little River Band. He left in 1980. (1978 US No.3 single ‘Reminiscing’ plus 12 other US Top 40 singles). 
1955 Shane Howard born in Dennington, Victoria. Vocalist with goanna. Shane also sang on the 1983 hit ‘Let The Franklin Flow’. 
1957 Eddie Van Halen born in The Netherlands. Guitarist with Van Halen. (1984 US No.1 & UK No. 7 single ‘Jump’). 
1958 Norman Lamont Hassan born in Birmingham, England. UK Keyboard Instrumentalist/Percussionist/Trombonist & Singer with UB40. (1983 UK No.1 & 1988 US No.1 single ‘Red Red Wine’ and over 30 other Top 40 hit singles). 
1958 Anita Baker born in Toledo, Ohio. US soul singer who had the 1986 UK No.13 single ‘Sweet Love’ and the 1998 US No.1 album ‘Giving You The Best That I Got’. 
1961 Elvis Presley was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight’. The singers sixth UK No.1. The single included a spoken passage loosely based on Shakespeare. 
1962 Anna LaCazzio born in Los Angeles , California. US Singer/Keyboard Instrumentalist with Cock Robin. 
1963 Andrew Ridgeley born in Surrey, England. One half of the British duo Wham!. (1984 UK & US No.1 single ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go Go’ plus 10 other UK Top 20 hit singles). 
1963 Jazzie B, British DJ, music producer, and entrepreneur and founding member of British group Soul II Soul who had the 1989 UK No.1 single ‘Back To Life’. 
1963 The Rooftop Singers started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Walk Right In’, a No.10 hit in the UK. 
1963 The Beatles played two gigs, the first was at the El Rio Club/Dance Hall in Macclesfield, Cheshire, supported by Wayne Fontana and the Jets. Then The Beatles drove 20 miles to their next gig at King’s Hall, Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire. 
1964 Susannah Melvoin, American vocalist, songwriter. Worked with Prince, Roger Waters, Eric Clapton and Mike Oldfield. As a songwriter, has co-written songs performed by Madonna, Eric Clapton and Prince. 
1965 During a Rolling Stones tour of Australia and New Zealand, guitarist Keith Richards had his shirt torn off after 50 fans invaded the stage during the gig at The Town Hall in Brisbane. 
1965 Downtown’ by Petula Clark was at No. 1 on the US singles chart. A young Jimmy Page had played as a session guitarist on the track, giving him his first US No.1 hit, (and a No. 2 hit in the UK). 
1968 Pink Floyd played their first gig without Syd Barrett at Southampton University. They were supported by Tyrannosaurus Rex, (later to be renamed T Rex) featuring Marc Bolan and percussionist Steve Peregrine Took. 
1970 John Lennon wrote, recorded and mixed his new single ‘Instant Karma’ all in one day. It ranks as one of the fastest-released songs in pop music history, recorded at London’s Abbey Road Studios and arriving in stores only ten days later. 
1971 Elvis Presley played the first night of a 31 date run at The Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas, Nirvana. Elvis played a 8.30pm and midnight shows on most days. 
1972 Sean Combs (Puff Daddy) father Melvin was shot dead in his car in a Manhattan park aged thirty-three. Sean was aged 2 at the time. 
1973 Sweet were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Blockbuster’. The glam rockers only UK No.1 of 15 Top 40 hits. 
1974 Mud were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with the Nicky Chinn & Mike Chapman song ‘Tiger Feet’, the group’s first of three UK No.1’s. 
1974 Ringo Starr went to No.1 on the US singles chart with his version of the Johnny Burnette 1960 hit ‘Your Sixteen’, a No.3 hit in the UK. 
1975 The BBC ‘Omnibus’ documentary ‘Cracked Actor’ a film about David Bowie was shown on UK TV. 
1976 David Briggs born in Melbourne Victoria. Guitarist with The Little River Band between 1976 and 1981. 
1977 Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green was committed to a mental hospital following an incident when he threatened his accountant Clifford Adams with an air rifle when he was trying to deliver a £30,000 ($51,000) royalty cheque to him. 
1980 Prince made his TV debut on the US show American Bandstand. 
1980 The Clash kicked off The 16 Tons-22 date UK tour at Deeside Leisure Centre. 
1985 Foreigner started a three-week run at No.1 on the UK album chart with ‘Agent Provocateur’. 
1986 Allen Collins, guitarist from Lynyrd Skynyrd crashed his car, paralysing him from the waist down and killing his girlfriend Debra Jean Watts. Collins had survived a plane crash in 1977 that killed two other band members. 
1989 American singer Donnie Elbert died of a stroke aged 52. He had the 1972 US No. 22 & UK No.11 single ‘I Can’t Help Myself’, Sugar Pie Honey Bunch’, ‘Where Did Our Love Go?’ and ‘A Little Piece of Leather’. 
1989 Bon Jovi kicked of the North American leg of their New Jersey Syndicate Tour at the Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas. 
1991 Cher made a special video for the troops involved in Desert Storm during the gulf war. Cher’s Video Canteen, featured Janet Jackson, Paul Simon, Van Halen and Bonnie Raitt. 
1991 German duo Enigma went to No.1 on the UK album chart with ‘MCMXC’ featuring the UK No. 1 single ‘Sadness Part 1’. Enigma were German Michael Creut and his wife Sandra. 
1991 Queen had their second UK #1 with Innuendo. At 6 minutes 30 seconds, it exceeded their epic Bohemian Rhapsody by 35 seconds and became the third longest UK #1 song of all time, behind The Beatles’ Hey Jude and Simple Minds’ Belfast Child (subsequently the 9 minutes 38 seconds All Around The World by Oasis took over the top slot and demoted Innuendo to fourth place). For Innuendo’s flamenco guitar solo, Brian May was joined by Yes guitarist Steve Howe. 
1998 S.P. Leary died, he’d played with many blues legends including Howlin Wolf and Muddy Waters. 
2003 Billy Joel was airlifted to hospital after his car smashed into a tree. The singer lost control of his Mercedes S500 and skidded for 100 yards before crashing. The accident happened in The Hamptons, New York. 
2003 Justin Timberlake went to No.1 on the UK album chart with his debut solo album ‘Justified’, which went on to spend over a year on the UK chart. 
2004 John Lydon was one of ten contestants to take part in the latest I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here UK TV show set in the Australian outback. The former Sex Pistols singer was seen by 11 million viewers on the first night covered in bird seed being pecked by giant ostriches. Lydon who was paid £25,000 ($42,500) to appear in the show, but walked off the jungle set after four days. 
2007 The Rolling Stones topped the US music rich list for the second year running after making $150.6m (£76.2m) in 2006. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill were second in the poll with a combined fortune of $132m (£67.2m) and American country band Rascal Flatts appeared third, having earnt $110.5m (£56.2m) in the past year. 
2008 Alicia Keys was at No.1 on the US album chart with her third album ‘As I Am’. The album sold over 742,000 copies in its first week the largest ever first week sales for any female R&B artist. 
2011 American singer Gladys Horton died aged 66. She was the founder and lead singer of the Motown all-female vocal group The Marvelettes who had the hits ‘Please Mr. Postman’, (when Horton was reportedly just fifteen years old). Horton would later sing lead on Marvelettes’ classics such as ‘Playboy’, ‘Beechwood 4-5789’ and ‘Too Many Fish in the Sea’. 
2013 Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner at age 69 of cancer. He was a vocalist with the Ohio Players. 
2016 English singer-songwriter Colin Vearncombe, who with Black had the 1987 UK No.8 single ‘Wonderful Life’, died at the age of 53. Vearncombe was involved in a road traffic accident, on Jan 10th 2016 near Cork Airport in Ireland, and placed in a medically-induced coma after sustaining serious head injuries. He died from his injuries at the intensive care unit of Cork University Hospital at the age of 53. Black sold over two million records worldwide with Comedy (1988) and Black (1991).

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